Elderly couple murdered in London home

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The Independent Online

Five people have been murdered in London in 24 hours, including an elderly couple who police said were "slaughtered" in their home by an intruder.

Five people have been murdered in London in 24 hours, including an elderly couple who police said were "slaughtered" in their home by an intruder.

The retired consultant paediatrician and his wife are believed to have been stabbed to death shortly after finishing breakfast at their £850,000 home in a gated estate in Highgate, north London. The bloodstained attacker fled over a back fence.

In three other incidents in the capital a 16-year-old boy was knifed to death when he tried to save his friend during a fight; a man died after he was attacked with a screwdriver; and a man in his twenties was found stabbed to death in a street.

Derek Robinson, 75, and his wife Jean, a music teacher, who was in her late 60s, were found at about 8am by a decorator arriving to do work at their three-bedroom semi-detached house on the Holly Lodge estate in Highgate Hill. Detectives believe they fought their killer and he was injured in the struggle.

Dr Robinson had two daughters. He retired more than 10 years ago. Before that he worked in Newham, east London, as a community paediatrician and before that in York.

Detective Superintendent Sue Hill said: "This is a horrific attack. These people were in their own home and they were slaughtered." .

Neighbours said the couple had grandchildren. There were no signs of forcible entry to the house and nothing appeared to have been stolen. Detectives believe the couple may have let the attacker into the house.

After his retirement Mr Robinson continued to do charity work. Mrs Robinson was a music teacher and was active in the local community. The Robinsons' next-door neighbour, Matthew Power, said: "They had lived here for over five years and were known by everybody in the community. They were good people. They were people who welcomed everybody and were known as extremely kind. They were just very good people, who contributed to society."

A man was later detained in the King's Cross area and was being questioned by police.

VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

* Robert Levy, 16, was stabbed in Hackney, east London, on Thursday during a street fight. The A-level student is believed to have become involved in an argument. He was stabbed in the neck andchest. He died before arriving at hospital. A 16-year-old has been arrested.

* An unidentified man in his twenties was found in Tottenham High Road, north London, early yesterday. He had multiple stab wounds and died in hospital.

* A man was found dead and a second seriously injured early on Thursday. Police were called to Croydon, south London, where they found a man aged about 40 with serious head injuries. The victim was undergoing surgery yesterday. A second man in his late 50s was found dead near by. It is not clear if the two cases are linked.